Food for thought - debunking some folk-science

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cliffcoggin
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Re: Food for thought - debunking some folk-science

Post by cliffcoggin »

rene wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:10 am

Although fairly unexpected all current indications point to it being flat or very nearly flat.
Just like the Earth, unless you believe Larry Niven or Terry Pratchet.
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Re: Food for thought - debunking some folk-science

Post by dorsetUK »

rene wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:10 am
dorsetUK wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:42 am
[ ... ] and does anyone actually know what 'shape' the universe is?
Although fairly unexpected all current indications point to it being flat or very nearly flat. And that, many are sorry to say, means triangles have exactly or almost exactly 180 degree angle-sums...
Sadly Physicists and Mathematicians don't always agree.
https://plus.maths.org/content/shape-and-fate-universe

Luckily, there may be a new theory along soon.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49774339

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Re: Food for thought - debunking some folk-science

Post by catweazel »

Mage of Maple wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:25 am
This is a silly detour. Ok, maybe everything is a figment of my imagination - I can't prove it isn't. But if that's all this is, it invalidates all meaningful discussion. We reasonably assume that our perceptions correspond to an external reality. We take that as a given as we go about our day (and our science experiments.) Your solipsism doesn't add to the conversation, it just derails it.
First, I am not a solopsist. Second, nobody said it was an unreasonable assumption. Third, it is an interesting discussion in and of itself and nothing is invalidated. Fourth, this is my thread, I created it, and if I wish to derail it then I will do so.
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Re: Food for thought - debunking some folk-science

Post by catweazel »

Schultz wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:28 pm
catweazel wrote:
In modern physics, quantum physics that is, not your clockwork universe Newtonian physics,...
You seem to be anti-Sir Isaac Newton (I noticed at least on other comment about him/his ideas). I'm curious as to why.
(I'm not a scientist so take it easy on me. :) )
I have nothing against Newton. The statement is a dig at a certain shut-steel trap-tight, mechanistic view of the world where contemporary physics is not believed and faith is said to be needed, despite it never having failed in over 100 years of experimentation.

viewtopic.php?f=58&t=304286&start=20#p1706901
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Re: Food for thought - debunking some folk-science

Post by catweazel »

Pjotr wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:36 am
catweazel wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:33 am
Pjotr wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:26 am


Take a hammer in your right hand and hit the index finger of your left hand with it. Hit it hard.

That should prove to you, once and for all, the existence of an external reality. :mrgreen:
No, it doesn't. Take away the sense of touch and one feels nothing at all.
Word play.... The finger will be damaged anyway, which should also be visible. Or should we take away sight as well, and claim that therefore nothing has happened? :lol:
It's not word play. How do you prove that the hammer hurt me if I can't feel it? And yes, taking sight away is the next step, and so on until there is nothing left except the consciousness of the observer observing itself. This is the thought experiment I mentioned earlier. Without senses, there is no external reality.
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Re: Food for thought - debunking some folk-science

Post by catweazel »

Flemur wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:43 am
... humans and their senses and instruments are not fundamentally different from the rest of the universe.
More than that. The real crux of the problem is that we humans are part of the puzzle we're trying to solve.
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Re: Food for thought - debunking some folk-science

Post by Mage of Maple »

Flemur wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:43 am
The world continues on whether or not people observe it because humans and their senses and instruments are not fundamentally different from the rest of the universe.
That is an opinion, to which you are certainly entitled, but it is not a fact. And all the experimental results of quantum mechanics call this into question - hence the reason that there are dozens of different "interpretations" of quantum mechanics.
Flemur wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:43 am
What constitutes a measurement? We don't know, but we do know that it is more complex they you claim.
I made no claims about measurement, I didn't even use the word.
Right. Because you are either ignorant of, or deliberately ignoring, the issue. But the measurement problem exists whether you recognize it or not.

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Re: Food for thought - debunking some folk-science

Post by Pjotr »

catweazel wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:18 pm
Without senses, there is no external reality.
Now that's what I call a delusion. You can't even begin to prove that.

Sorry, but at this level it's all word play. Without any practical or even philosophical relevance whatsoever. You're stretching the relevance of quantum mechanics beyond its scope.

There is probably a point in physics where quantum mechanics takes over from Newtonian mechanics. But at the level we're operating in as human beings, Newton rules. There *is* an external reality, and we have to deal with that as best we can. Or suffer the consequences. Even without all sensory perception, a finger crushed by a hammer will be exactly that.

The rest is all talk; playful talk, amusing talk, but essentially empty and meaningless. Brain gymnastics without importance. Sorry old wizard, but that's how it is. :mrgreen:
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Re: Food for thought - debunking some folk-science

Post by Flemur »

Mage of Maple wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:55 pm
Flemur wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:43 am
The world continues on whether or not people observe it because humans and their senses and instruments are not fundamentally different from the rest of the universe.
That is an opinion, to which you are certainly entitled, but it is not a fact.
LOL. People are spiritual or some such? Consciousness is magic?
Flemur wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:43 am
I made no claims about measurement, I didn't even use the word [measurement].
Right. Because you are either ignorant of, or deliberately ignoring, the issue.
Neither.

I just agree with Feynman and many others that observation, in any normal sense of the word, is not necessary for the physical world to exist because if it were true then you would need:
-- a supernatural observer which exists before and/or during the big bang, and inside stars, etc., or
-- the observer is the rest of the universe, namely not really an observer, just matter and energy which interacts with other matter and energy; humans and their tools, for example.
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Re: Food for thought - debunking some folk-science

Post by stormryder »

catweazel wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:18 pm
Without senses, there is no external reality
Without reality there is no place for the mind to exist.

How does the observer observe anything without sensory equipment?.

Where does the mind end and the sense begin? Do you need senses to feel the pain of a headache caused by a concussion?
How about the more subtle stuff like the euphoria associated with dopamine? Is that part of external reality and sensory input or the mind?
Pjotr wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:19 pm
Brain gymnastics.
More like brain contortion

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Re: Food for thought - debunking some folk-science

Post by catweazel »

Pjotr wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:19 pm
catweazel wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:18 pm
Without senses, there is no external reality.
Now that's what I call a delusion. You can't even begin to prove that.
It can be demonstrated very easily with a thought experiment, and brain science, in particular what the brain does with perceptions and how it creates the images for your consciousness to consume, supports it. I would have offered to demonstrate it using the thought experiment had you shown even a tiny inkling that you could exercise your imagination sufficiently to at least consider the possibility, but no, out pops "CATWAEAZEL IS A LOON!"
Specifically, we wished to determine whether the realism of apparent depth from binocular cues is associated with the magnitude or precision of perceived depth...
https://cognitiveresearchjournal.spring ... 017-0062-7

Realism is not reality.
Conscious visual experience is thought to be based on activity in visual areas of cerebral cortex, which receive input from the retina.
https://www.pnas.org/content/98/22/12340

You do not have direct access to the world that you see. Remove the senses, one by one, and there is no thing that you can label 'external reality'.

I'll leave you to contemplate the navel of your clockwork universe.
"There is, ultimately, only one truth -- cogito, ergo sum -- everything else is an assumption." - Me, my swansong.

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Re: Food for thought - debunking some folk-science

Post by trytip »

dorsetUK wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:21 am
PS. Dear Prof C Weazel, I'm still waiting for someone else to admit that 2 + 2 doesn't always equal 4 and that a triangle can have considerably less, or more, that 180 degrees.
in any sane world when 1+1=NOT 2 there is a breakdown of reality. in this "breakdown of reality" anything is "ok" as long as the sum of two ones is anything other that two. this is a dimension of hell, from whence the event horizon movie came forth.

now: you're saying that 1+1=infinite possibilities and universes ??? :| that is hell indeed. especially you, as the observer in that double slit experiment in which there are infinite possible outcomes. some things get split in half and become two halves. if these two halves split in half you now have four halves ? if there are infinite possibilities of infinite beginnings, this still is flawed. there is no infinite if i don't say START. now the other infinite ME can say start also.

i said START ... not the other me from parallel realities. this makes all other possibilities nullified. why would i give a crap about reality #2491?
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Re: Food for thought - debunking some folk-science

Post by catweazel »

Flemur wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:05 pm
I just agree with Feynman and many others that observation, in any normal sense of the word, is not necessary for the physical world to exist because if it were true then you would need:
-- a supernatural observer which exists before and/or during the big bang, and inside stars, etc., or
So, let's invoke Occam on that.

Pick one:

A) There is such a thing as a supernatural observer.

B) The universe, for absolutely no reason whatsoever, just popped right up out of absolute nothingness.

Which of those is the simpler explanation?

The real problem for physics, when you get down to the nub of it, is that physics cannot avoid a creation event for the universe.

For example, let's assume there was no big bang, and instead there is eternal inflation. The problem here is that the Hubble constant goes out the window, as does space-time (see physrevlett.90.151301). The issue with the Hubble constant going out the window is that it is the Hubble constant that puts limits on inflation in both forward and reverse time; there is no boundary condition if there is no Hubble constant, but we have the Hubble constant so there is a boundary condition, i.e. just like the evidence points to a beginning event, there was a beginning event.

So, since that assumption has gone down the gurgler, let's change the assumption to an infinity of expansions, contractions and bounce backs, a cyclic universe. The problem here is that entropy increases over time, so after each each cycle, the universe must necessarily entail more and more entropy. If that were the case then there must already have been an infinite number of cycles and the universe that we see should be in a state of complete disarray, an amorphous mixture of 'stuff', no stars, no planets, no galaxies, just 'stuff', but instead we see order everywhere.

Well, that's the second major assumption to go down the drain. Let's try an eternally expanding universe. Sadly for this idea, it is a victim of the same rationale against eternal expansion and contraction. If the universe keeps getting bigger then it must have had a start point.

Now we're left with a few abstruse alternatives. There's Einstein's static universe, oh, and the cosmic egg mythology. We know what happened to Einstein's static universe, but what about the cosmic egg. It turns out that both a static universe and a cosmic-egg universe are quantum-mechanically unstable. These universes eventually collapse due to quantum-tunnelling (see Collapse of simple harmonic universe arxiv 1110.4096).

On the supernatural, at least currently, dark matter is supernatural, where supernatural is defined as some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature that we are bound to follow in our three-dimensional world. We may yet figure it out but I suspect we will not be able to prove it for several hundred years. It may very well be that what we see and label as the effects of dark matter are the effects of something lurking in a dimension that we currently cannot access.

Now, please, don't go implying supernatural or spiritual beliefs on my part because there is nothing there that speaks to what I believe.
There is obviously only one alternative, namely the unification of minds or consciousnesses. Their multiplicity is only apparent, in truth there is only one mind.
Erwin Schrödinger.
The scientific world-picture vouchsafes a very complete understanding of all that happens - it makes it just a little too understandable. It allows you to imagine the total display as that of a mechanical clockwork which, for all that science knows, could go on just the same as it does, without there being consciousness, will, endeavor, pain and delight and responsibility connected with it - though they actually are. And the reason for this disconcerting situation is just this: that for the purpose of constructing the picture of the external world, we have used the greatly simplifying device of cutting our own personality out, removing it; hence it is gone, it has evaporated, it is ostensibly not needed.
Erwin Schrödinger.
"There is, ultimately, only one truth -- cogito, ergo sum -- everything else is an assumption." - Me, my swansong.

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Re: Food for thought - debunking some folk-science

Post by catweazel »

dorsetUK wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:21 am
PS. Dear Prof C Weazel, I'm still waiting for someone else to admit that 2 + 2 doesn't always equal 4
The answer to 2 + 2 = what? is going to depend entirely on your number system. In a modulo 3 world, 2 + 2 = 1. That is the case because 4 is outside of the modulo 3 world.
dorsetUK wrote:and that a triangle can have considerably less, or more, that 180 degrees.
You're talking exclusively about Euclid's flat geometry. There are any number of geometries where at least one of Euclid's ideas do not hold, hence 'triangle(s) can have considerably less, or more, that [sic] 180 degrees.' For example, in a spherical geometry, Euclid's line becomes a circle. Setting aside ascent and descent, commercial aircraft do not fly in a straight line between two points. Instead they fly in an arc across the surface of the planet because the shortest path between two points on the surface of the earth, which is a sphere, is an arc along a great circle. On a 2-dimensional map you see a line, but draw that same line on the surface of a sphere and it's an arc.
"There is, ultimately, only one truth -- cogito, ergo sum -- everything else is an assumption." - Me, my swansong.

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Re: Food for thought - debunking some folk-science

Post by catweazel »

trytip wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:30 am
dorsetUK wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:21 am
PS. Dear Prof C Weazel, I'm still waiting for someone else to admit that 2 + 2 doesn't always equal 4 and that a triangle can have considerably less, or more, that 180 degrees.
in any sane world when 1+1=NOT 2 there is a breakdown of reality.
Poppycock! 2 + 2 is dependent on the number system, and triangles on a number of geometries do not have 180 degrees.
"There is, ultimately, only one truth -- cogito, ergo sum -- everything else is an assumption." - Me, my swansong.

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Re: Food for thought - debunking some folk-science

Post by farkas »

Folk science, real science or any other science do not matter.
2+2 may or may not = 2
There is a branch of math where (a × b) × c doesn’t equal a × (b × c). https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-octo ... -20180720/
Science (from the Latin word scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.
From Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science
Is this just Metaphysics? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysics

Cogito, ergo sum
René Descartes
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cogito,_ergo_sum

Meanwhile in my universe my observation is:
The universe exists for my "I" as long as long as my "I" can think.
Will the universe cease to exist when I die?
For my "I" it is a yes. "I" will not be thinking anymore.
For all other "I"s there will be one as long as there is an "I" in existence in their or our universe that can observe its own existence.
I'd hate to be the last "I". No one to argue about which theory of everything, anything or who is going to take the garbage out
In the meantime, in my current personal universe 2+2=4 and (a × b) × c = a × (b × c).
Thanks catweazel for starting this post! It gives the biologic home of my "I" some much needed exercise.
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Re: Food for thought - debunking some folk-science

Post by Faust »

Time reversal ?

In NMR there is a phenomenon called " Spin Echo " , and under the appropriate conditions a reversal of time can be observed .

Some further reading here :-
https://pines.berkeley.edu/sites/defaul ... ld_nmr.pdf

Incidentally , NMR is an excellent example of where quantum mechanics beautifully models physical observables.
The "fit" is astonishing .

Interesting to note that thermodynamics , one of the touchstones of scientific "knowledge" / belief , has little to tell us
about the direction of " Time's Arrow " .

The Second Law appears to tell us something , at least as far as entropy is concerned , but dig a little deeper
and things become less clear .

" The Arrow of Time : a voyage through science to solve time's greatest mystery "
by Coveney, Peter (Peter V.); Highfield, Roger

And from Wikipedia :-

In the 1928 book The Nature of the Physical World, which helped to popularize the concept, Eddington stated:
Let us draw an arrow arbitrarily. If as we follow the arrow we find more and more of the random element in the
state of the world, then the arrow is pointing towards the future; if the random element decreases the arrow
points towards the past. That is the only distinction known to physics. This follows at once if our fundamental
contention is admitted that the introduction of randomness is the only thing which cannot be undone.
I shall use the phrase 'time's arrow' to express this one-way property of time which has no analogue in space.

Eddington then gives three points to note about this arrow:

It is vividly recognized by consciousness.
It is equally insisted on by our reasoning faculty, which tells us that a reversal of the arrow would render the
external world nonsensical.
It makes no appearance in physical science except in the study of organization of a number of individuals.
(By which he means that it is only observed in entropy, a statistical mechanics phenomenon arising from a system.)
According to Eddington the arrow indicates the direction of progressive increase of the random element.

Following a lengthy argument upon the nature of thermodynamics he concludes that, so far as physics is
concerned, time's arrow is a property of entropy alone.


As to Chemistry or Physics ? .... at the post-doc level ( or even post-grad ) there is a great deal of overlap
and the distinction becomes less relevant .

Uncertainty is everywhere you look in modern science ..... :)

On the hammer / finger "interaction " ..... it proves neither the existence of the hammer nor the finger .
We cannot have knowledge of anything ( well , only one thing ) , we merely have opinions , which are based on
our five senses , and are thus entirely subjective and untrustworthy .

My two kopiykas worth :-
Catweazel has made no factual or logical errors so far , but there has been plenty of half-smart tripe
posted elsewhere in this thread .
Or should I have said " folk-science " ?
:)

I very much enjoy science fiction , so long as I don't get slapped in the face with gibberish
and the best writers are very skilled at avoiding this :-
"The Sentinel " ( later to become 2001 ) by Arthur C. Clarke
"Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep " by Philip K. Dick
" And so it goes " - Kurt Vonnegut
The modern reality and the satirical parody are rapidly converging .

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Re: Food for thought - debunking some folk-science

Post by catweazel »

farkas wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:24 am
Will the universe cease to exist when I die?
For my "I" it is a yes. "I" will not be thinking anymore.
Would it surprise you to learn that there is absolutely zero evidence for the proposition that your "I" stops thinking at the point of death? Would it be even more surprising to you to learn that there is a very large body of peer-reviewed scientific evidence that leads to the irrefutable conclusion that your "I" will continue to think post-death?

The evidence is beyond a reasonable doubt.
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Re: Food for thought - debunking some folk-science

Post by Pjotr »

catweazel wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:57 am
farkas wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:24 am
Will the universe cease to exist when I die?
For my "I" it is a yes. "I" will not be thinking anymore.
Would it surprise you to learn that there is absolutely zero evidence for the proposition that your "I" stops thinking at the point of death? Would it be even more surprising to you to learn that there is a very large body of peer-reviewed scientific evidence that leads to the irrefutable conclusion that your "I" will continue to think post-death?

The evidence is beyond a reasonable doubt.
That's sheer religion based on quantum mechanics applied beyond its scope. Not science. Dead is dead, and gone is gone. Sorry, but there's simply no proof for an afterlife.

Things are what they are, not what we hope they are. There is an external reality, in spite of all word play and brain gymnastics, and we have to deal with that. We need to realize that and take it from there. Make the most of it.

Small comfort: for most people life's not so bad, even though for all of us it has to end some time.
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Re: Food for thought - debunking some folk-science

Post by catweazel »

Pjotr wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:14 am
catweazel wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:57 am
farkas wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:24 am
Will the universe cease to exist when I die?
For my "I" it is a yes. "I" will not be thinking anymore.
Would it surprise you to learn that there is absolutely zero evidence for the proposition that your "I" stops thinking at the point of death? Would it be even more surprising to you to learn that there is a very large body of peer-reviewed scientific evidence that leads to the irrefutable conclusion that your "I" will continue to think post-death?

The evidence is beyond a reasonable doubt.
That's sheer religion based on quantum mechanics applied beyond its scope. Not science. Dead is dead, and gone is gone. Sorry, but there's simply no proof for an afterlife.
Of course, you've done all the research in the short time since I asked those questions. Right? You're expressing mere unfounded opinion, which is never required to be founded on any fact whatsoever, requires absolutely no proof at all, and need not be based on any positive knowledge of any kind. And if your mind was open, I would have expected at least a request for a reference.

Oh, and I wrote, and I quote, evidence, not "proof". Don't twist words, please.

There is no point in discussing this with you. You are not open to discussion. You just want to lob cat calls.

Bye.
"There is, ultimately, only one truth -- cogito, ergo sum -- everything else is an assumption." - Me, my swansong.

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